According to the creation story [of the Anishinabe], Gitchi Manitous or the ‘Great Mystery’ had a vision, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling, sensing, and knowing the universe, the world, the Manitous, plants, animals, and human beings, and brought them into existence. Following the example set by Gitchi Manitous, every person is to seek a dream or vision (Waabi) within the expanse of his or her soul-spirit being and having attained it, bring it to fulfillment and reality. Otherwise the dream of vision will be nullified. Furthermore, every person is endowed with the gift of a measure of talent or aptitude. to enable him or her to bring the vision or dream to reality, to shape his or her being, as it were, and to fashion an immediate world and destiny. But finding this substance is not an easy task. One must descend to the depths or ascend to the very heights of one’s soul-spirit being, to discover and retrieve that morsel of talent or attitude. Creation was seen as the highest act of selflessness… that anyone, Manitou or other can perform-the sharing of one’s gifts. Gitchi Manitous’ grant of freedom to human beings to seek and fulfill their visions and dreams according to their individual abilities was an act…of trust.
Johnston, Basil. The Manitous. New York: Harper-Collins, 1996
“Make sure your Manitous adds to the greater Harmony”
The above was shared with me by a Native American teacher in high school. He taught a multiculturalism class that focused significantly on different tribes of North America. He expressed a particular interest in me at the time due to my troubled background, the fact that my maternal grandfather is a 100% Sioux Indian, and that I lived in Alaska for a few years and knew a little about about the tribal history of the area.
I truly hope you are eventually able to enjoy life’s highs and lows. You have a great deal of intellectual power to offer the world when and if you let your guard down.
Akay awa a kitchay!!!
He was a rare individual with an extensive and unique perspective on the world. He was also the only faculty member I knew who stood against the poisonous “Safe Space” movement that was being introduced into the school. He saw it as insulting and insinuating that he was incapable or unwilling to provide a safe classroom. I never did let my guard down but I continually work towards embodying my shadow.